Georgetown announces Global Futures Initiative

Yesterday, President John DeGioia announced the launch of Global Futures Initiative, a university-wide collaboration to recognize and address the major challenges that the international community faces.

Over the next two years, the Initiative will host prestigious world leaders from the public sector, business, and civil society to speak to the Georgetown community. Each of the four semesters between 2015 and 2016 will embody a different theme.

President of the World Bank Group Jim Yong Kim will deliver the inaugural Global Futures lecture on Jan. 27 at 4 p.m. in Gaston Hall. The lecture, “Responding to Ebola: A Critical Window on Global Development Post-2015″ will relate to this semester’s theme: “The Global Future of Development”.

Kim, along with the rest of the The World Bank Group, has been leading the international response to the Ebola epidemic and helped mobilize the financial support for countries who were most severely impacted.

His talk on Jan. 27 will address the current efforts against the spread of infection in West Africa as well as long-term goals to improve public health systems and increase economic and social development in countries most vulnerable to pandemics.

As a physician and anthropologist, Kim has received numerous awards including a MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship, and recognitions such as one of America’s “25 Best Leaders” by U.S. News & World Report and “100 Most Influential People in the World” by TIME magazine in 2006.

In 1987, Kim co-founded non-profit medical organization Partners in Health, which operates on four different continents. He then went on to serve as the Director of the World Health Organization’s HIV/AIDS Department from 2003-2005.

Kim will give a second lecture on climate change in March, and the Senior Vice President and Chief Economist Kaushik Basu will present lectures on the global economy and on social and institutional drivers of future development in February and April, respectively.

In a collaboration with Georgetown’s Designing the Future initiative, The Global Futures Curriculum Studio will be holding seminars, workshops, and conferences highlighting faculty and student inquiry on global issues and provide feedback from the Georgetown community and outside experts alike.

The lecture series will focus on governance next fall, and on security and the environment in spring and fall of 2016.

Photo: Georgetown University

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